"Spanking" a snake?!!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wood&feathers, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Phooey - thread title should read "Spanking"!

    I have had problems off and on all summer with a black rat snake stealing eggs, in one case losing several wooden fakes to it. The culprit must have vomited those, 'cause I finally caught him today. He was curled up practically under my broody hen. No egg lumps real or fake, so I put him in a pillowcase and called Jim Harrison at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo. I know the research is getting more and more down on relocating adult reptiles and wanted to see if he wanted this one.

    Since my girls are all adults that won't fit in the snake, and it is a good nonpoisonous rodent control, I went ahead with a new plan. He suggested putting it in a bucket or garbage can and beating on the can loudly (not shaking it). Then I released it up in the garden about 500 ft from the coop.

    Thus far the sample sizes are really small, but promising. The idea is to train wild adult snakes to avoid places like chicken coops with aversion therapy. I guess I am conducting our own little experiment. I know if I find it eating eggs again in a couple weeks it will be relocated further - I can't chance it eating chicks in 3 weeks. But I am curious to see what happens. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  2. BorderKelpie

    BorderKelpie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
    outside Dallas
    That's interesting - keep us posted, I'm curious how it works for you.
     
  3. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    AACK! How do I edit the thread title? I meant "spanking"!
     
  4. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    georgia
    Hey PM and let me know how it goes. Had a rat snake in my coop about 3 weeks ago. I wouldn't be surprised if I see it again soon. How big was yours. Was it mean when you got it out of the coop? I was scared going in the coop for a couple of weeks after seeing a snake in ours.

    wood&feathers :

    Phooey - thread title should read "Spanking"!

    I have had problems off and on all summer with a black rat snake stealing eggs, in one case losing several wooden fakes to it. The culprit must have vomited those, 'cause I finally caught him today. He was curled up practically under my broody hen. No egg lumps real or fake, so I put him in a pillowcase and called Jim Harrison at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo. I know the research is getting more and more down on relocating adult reptiles and wanted to see if he wanted this one.

    Since my girls are all adults that won't fit in the snake, and it is a good nonpoisonous rodent control, I went ahead with a new plan. He suggested putting it in a bucket or garbage can and beating on the can loudly (not shaking it). Then I released it up in the garden about 500 ft from the coop.

    Thus far the sample sizes are really small, but promising. The idea is to train wild adult snakes to avoid places like chicken coops with aversion therapy. I guess I am conducting our own little experiment. I know if I find it eating eggs again in a couple weeks it will be relocated further - I can't chance it eating chicks in 3 weeks. But I am curious to see what happens. [​IMG]
     
  5. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    It was big, about 5' long. I was cleaning out the bedding so I could put fresh around the broody. I guess it was so used to being walked on by the girls it didn't wake up much until I grabbed it. I gently grabbed it behind the head, then supported the body as I picked it up. Then my daughter held the pillowcase for me.

    We live in reptile central - TONS of copperheads, lots of smaller lizards and snakes, and even the occasional timber rattler. If I could somehow train this guy to eat the mice and other reptiles and leave my eggs alone I'd be tickled pink. A black king snake would have been even better to have around. Jim Harrison at the Ky Reptile Zoo has heard of someone doing a paper on aversion therapy for teaching rattlers to avoid certain places. I think they got only about 20 encounters for their data set, but it seemed to work. When my son had corn snakes I was amazed at the amount of interaction and seeming intelligence they possessed.
     
  6. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Oh another tidbit - most snakes only need to eat about once a week. So they don't usually steal eggs EVERY day.
     
  7. ginnyj

    ginnyj Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2011
    Central Florida
    That's the coolest thing I've heard today! Imagine...aversion therapy for snakes....

    Very interesting!
     
  8. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Haha, lol!!!! Spanking a snake?!?!? Aversion therapy???? haha, you guys crack me up!!!!
     
  9. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    I think these experiments have developed out of telemetry studies. Anecdotal evidence suggested that snakes avoid the locale where they were, bagged, tagged, anesthetized and transmittered. So someone in a state park with telemetry funding set up a test to try and see if this is statistically valid. I know Jim Harrison did some telemetry at Natural Bridge SP with rattlers, but I think he heard this paper at a symposium.

    I was willing to try it. Every year I get to know a new big rat snake. They move in and I don't mind (you start seeing them bask, or in the garden or woodpile), then about the middle of July I start losing eggs. I have relocated 2 to friend's houses who needed rodent control, but only one of those was ever seen again (it had a big healed lawn mower scar). They are fascinating, mostly beneficial creatures and I would love to see if this works.

    Laugh if you will, but a good king snake is the best game in town for eliminating copperheads. I've killed my share of those, even backed bows with 'em. Nothing purtier than copperhead on hedgeapple wood. So I am trying this with a black rat snake, we'll see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  10. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    If you go back to your first post and hit edit you can fix the title of your thread here [​IMG]
     

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